Do you have a CMO (Change Management Office) in your organisation?
Over the last year I have had several discussions with customers regarding change management and how it should be organized. Who “owns” CM in a company? What is the optimal departement to run it? This of course only relevant after answering “yes” to the question: “Shall we have our own resources for change management?”.
There are several studies and best practice reports * on how organizations go about building their change management. And there is one thing they all agree on: you need to have a strategic thinking about change management. Not just sending employees to training (no matter how high the quality and how good the process and tools) and not just relying on external consultants or giving it one shot in a project. Strategic means: deciding to build this into your DNA and gradually enhance the organizations´ability to drive change. Then you can be among the organizations that change faster and get a higher ROI on your projects.
This is a checklist for organizations that want to be among them:
First of all, define your own process for change management. There is a standard ** (free to use for all) and several methods, like Prosci, but how will you adjust and incorporate this into your organizations´ways of working? How will you link it to other processes, for example Project management processes?
Starting with a specific project and applying change management, with internal and/or external resources, is a good way to get going. But studies * show that organizations that get a higher ROI on their projects then continues to build on this, applying process, methods and tools to all projects that demand change in ways of working and behavior.
There is currently no “right” answer to the question “where in the organization shall we put CM”. Companies have decided to run it from their PMO, IT dept, strategic resources, HR, controlling or in a newly set up CMO. It seems to end up where there was once a driving force, understanding the benefits of a structured approach. And studies*** so far does not show any difference in results depending on where it resides, the important part is that someone owns it and drives the use and ability forward.
Good luck building your organizations change management ability! If you want to discuss further, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
* Prosci Best Practices 2016 edition, IBM Global Business Services Executive Report, Making change work…while the work keeps changing, 2014, PMI Pulse of the profession report 2012
** Standard for change management
***Prosci Best Practices 2016 edition